New York

New York


New York offers various benefits for veterans. On this page, you’ll find a concise overview of each of these benefits.

New York State Housing Benefits

New York State Veterans Homes

Veterans’ homes are situated in Batavia, Long Island (at Stony Brook University), Montrose, Oxford, and St. Albans. Eligibility for admission extends to New York resident veterans with an honorable discharge. Additionally, some spouses and unremarried surviving spouses may qualify for admission.

Please note that there may be a fee associated with care services.

Access to Home for Heroes

This initiative offers financial aid to modify housing units, making them accessible for low and moderate-income veterans living with disabilities.

Veterans with permanent disabilities, whose income falls at or below 120% of the area median income, may qualify for this program.

Homes for Veterans Program

This home loan program provides fixed-rate mortgages with interest rates that are 0.375% lower than the already competitive rates offered on SONYMA mortgages, which include down payment assistance. It is accessible to active duty personnel, reservists, National Guard members, and honorably discharged veterans.

New York Veteran Financial Benefits

Income Tax

Military Pay: If your permanent residence was in New York State before joining the military, your active-duty income is exempt from taxes if you satisfy all three of the following conditions:

  1. You did not maintain a permanent residence in New York.
  2. You maintained a permanent abode outside New York throughout the entire year (Note: Barracks, BOQ, or shipboard quarters are not considered permanent abodes).
  3. You spent fewer than 30 days in New York during the year.

Retirement pay and SBP payments are also tax-exempt.

Property Tax Exemptions

New York State offers three property tax exemptions based on military service, with additional benefits depending on the level of service-connected disability:

  1. The Alternative Veterans’ Exemption – available to veterans who served during wartime or received an expeditionary medal.
  2. The Cold War Veterans’ Exemption – designed for veterans who served during the Cold War era.
  3. The Eligible Funds Exemption – applicable to properties purchased by veterans using pension, bonus, or insurance funds.

Applications must be submitted before the tax deadline. Contact your city or county for detailed information. Surviving spouses who meet the criteria may apply for benefits based on their spouse’s service. These exemptions are applicable to both local and county property taxes.

Spouse Unemployment

A military spouse who resigns from their job to relocate with the military member due to a transfer is entitled to unemployment benefits.

Burial Allowance

A supplementary burial allowance of up to $6,000 is approved for specific military personnel who were killed in combat or while on active duty in hostile or imminent danger locations on or after September 29, 2003.

New York State Blind Annuity

The Blind Annuity Program provides benefits for wartime veterans who are legally blind or for their surviving unremarried spouses. Service connection for blindness is not a requirement for eligibility.

New York State Gold Star Annuity

The Gold Star Parent Annuity grants Gold Star parents an annuity payment exceeding $510.

E-Z Pass for Disabled Veterans

The New York State Thruway Authority provides qualifying disabled veterans with complimentary, unrestricted travel on the Thruway. To be eligible, veterans must qualify for fee-exempt vehicle registration from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Death Benefits

New York State provides a Supplemental Burial Allowance of up to $6,000 to the surviving family members of military personnel who were killed in a combat zone.

New York State Family Benefits

According to the New York Paid Family Leave Act, employees receive 10 weeks of paid time off for bonding with a newborn, adopted, or fostered child; caring for family members with serious health conditions; or addressing matters related to a family member’s military deployment.

New York Veteran Employment Benefits

Civil Service Credit Preference

Disabled wartime veterans receive a ten-point additional credit preference for original appointment, while wartime service grants a five-point preference. Other veterans are eligible for a two and a half point preference. Job retention rights also extend to veterans and spouses of totally disabled veterans.

Military Service Credit for State & Local Retirement System Members

You might be eligible to receive extra retirement credit for your military service via New York State and local retirement systems. Various sections of the law permit the crediting of qualifying military service. Once your request is received by the Retirement System, they will ascertain the section under which you qualify.

New York State Peddler’s License

Veterans from New York State with discharges other than dishonorable can apply for a complimentary lifetime Veterans Peddler’s License if they served overseas.

New York Veteran Education Benefits

Veterans Tuition Awards

The Veterans Tuition Awards cover tuition costs for both full-time and part-time study at undergraduate or graduate schools, as well as vocational training programs, for honorably discharged New York resident wartime veterans.

New York State Regents Awards (for Children)

Offers up to $450 annually to students whose parent(s) served in the US Armed Forces during designated periods of national emergency.

Military Service Recognition Scholarship

Accessible to specific dependents of military personnel who have been killed, severely and permanently disabled, or gone missing in action in combat or a combat zone of operation since August 2, 1990.

Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship

The MERIT Scholarship offers financial assistance to dependents of military members who either died or sustained severe and permanent disabilities due to their military service on or after August 2, 1990. National Guard service is included, and the injury or loss need not be related to combat.

This scholarship supports up to four years of undergraduate study, with potential extension to five years in certain cases. It covers full tuition expenses at any approved college, not exceeding SUNY tuition rates. Additionally, it provides an allowance for books, supplies, transportation, and a housing stipend. Typically, students residing on campus receive a higher housing allowance.

To remain eligible, students must enroll in full-time classes and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

New York Veteran Recreation Benefits

Hunting Licenses & Permits for Disabled Veterans

New York resident veterans with a disability rating of 40% or higher can obtain hunting and fishing licenses at reduced costs.

Hunting & Fishing Licenses for Active Duty

Active military members stationed outside of New York are eligible for free hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses when on leave for 30 days or less. Please note that regular license fees apply if you are a New York resident stationed in the state.

Non-residents stationed in New York for more than 30 days can purchase hunting and fishing licenses at the resident rate.

State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans

Wartime veterans with a disability rating of 40% or higher qualify for the Lifetime Liberty Pass.

This pass provides complimentary vehicle entry to state parks, day use areas, historic sites, and numerous state boat launch sites, arboretums, and park preserves. It also includes free golfing at 28 State Park golf courses, admission to 36 State Park pools, and discounted rates for camping and cabin rentals at all 119 State Park and DEC campgrounds.

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